The Insane Cure In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The Insane Cure Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” provides insights into the harsh societal expectations put on women during the 19th century. Set during a time when women were expected to be only housewives and mothers, the short story illustrates the invalidation faced by many women who were denied proper care for their struggles. During the 1800s, mental illnesses were not quite understood, and the mental health issues of women lacked even more understanding. A cure, created by male physicians, known as the “rest cure” was commonly prescribed to women dealing with any type of mental illness. This cure tried to guide women back into the “proper” place in society by forcing them to focus on only their husbands …show more content…

Throughout the story, her own concerns for her mental health are diminished and written off as simply nervousness that will eventually go away. The lack of proper care for her and her involuntary confinement to the room with the yellow wallpaper eventually causes the woman to end up in full psychosis, characterized by hallucinations of a woman trapped within the paper. The woman seen within the paper not only represents the actual woman’s need for a voice to give her freedom but also her inability to escape the constraints of the patriarchal standards being imposed upon her. It is not until she completely loses herself to the delusions and finds herself tearing down the wallpaper that she feels she has escaped her own husband’s constraints. Gilman uses symbolism in the short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” to convey that within a world with insane standards and rules, a woman’s only reasonable option is to go insane …show more content…

She feels the need to “free the shadow-woman from the paper-pattern that bars her full self-realization” (Haney-Peritz 8), which would allow her to get rid of the awareness of how poor her treatment is, resulting in her throwing away all of her own personal beliefs about her mental struggles. In order to do this, she sets a plan in place to impress John by tearing down the wallpaper that holds her consciousness to the conditions she has been forced into. After destroying the wallpaper, she feels a euphoria and sense of freedom, exclaiming “It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please” (Gilman 13), supporting the idea that now that she has escaped from her own beliefs, she loses the sense of anger once felt towards John. She feels better, but her sense of getting better is only her losing her awareness of her situation, therefore she never is able to fully recover from the state of depression she is in. She ends up fully losing herself which is symbolic of the fact that when women listen to the irrational rules and prescriptions from men, their problems become worse. The woman feels better on the surface level exclaiming, "I've got out at last… in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled

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